Posted at: 03/08/2013 4:52 PM
Updated at: 03/08/2013 5:32 PM
By: John Doetkott
(ABC 6 News) -- March 8th marked International Women's Day, and groups across the globe are celebrating women's achievements.
But women's rights advocates also used the day to highlight the steps that still need to be taken.
Locally, women's advocacy groups championed the strides women have made over the last century, but were quick to point out the many inequalities that still exist, most notably in the workplace.
Austin High School held a special assembly on women's history on Friday, and speakers highlighted the pay gap as a critical issue that today's young women will have to work to overcome.
On average, women in the United States still earn nearly 20 percent less than their male counterparts.
And experts said it's an issue that needs to be addressed not only for the benefit of women, but society as a whole.
“If women aren't bringing home a fair pay, a fair wage, it affects the whole family, said Lisa Maatz, a women’s rights lobbyist in Washington D.C. and the director of public policy for the American Association of University Women. “So to me, the biggest economic stimulus we could do is to just make sure we're following fair pay laws and that women are getting paid fairly for the work that they do."
March is designated as Women's History Month and speakers at Friday’s event encouraged young women to become their own advocates for change to continue to build on the progress already made.